Breanna Stewart, Tiffany Clarke, Jasmine Jenkins

No. 1-seed UConn women use 17-0 run to roll over 8-seed Vanderbilt

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The UConn women picked right up after their blowout first round win over Idaho by dispatching of Vanderbilt 77-44 in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

The Huskies never trailed, and pushed their 37-24 halftime lead thanks to a 17-0 run to open the second half. UConn held the Commodores without point for the first 7:16 of the half. Vanderbilt finally ended the drought on a  three-pointer by Jasmine Jenkins with 12:44 left in the game.

With the win, UConn reaches the Sweet 16 for the 20th straight season, shooting 54.2-percent in the process, holding the ‘Dores to 37.8-percent shooting.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, pacing four players who finished in double-figures for UConn. Moriah Jefferson scored 11 off the bench for the Huskies.

Tiffany Clarke led Vanderbilt with 16 points.

Another night at the office for Auriemma and UConn. He’s proven to be one of the best coaches in any sport in college and, while it’s not the Vanderbilt we’re used to seeing, the 17-0 run to begin the second half was impressive.

The Lady Huskies play Maryland in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: